Never mind ‘best’, let’s just all do ‘better’.

So you made some New Year’s resolutions and they barely even survived New Year’s Eve?

Instead of feeling compelled to give one thing up or start another just because the champagne flowed, how about setting yourself some more satisfying goals for the New Year? Obviously, we’re talking running. Most of the time when we talk running, we’re training to race or racing, socially or competitively. But there are so many ways to level up in 2017.

  1. The PB. It feels great to hit a personal best — your fastest parkrun, 10km or marathon is always a personal buzz. But how about your new longest run, whether by time or distance? Increasingly, understanding of the psychobiological element of human performance is finding that the limits of our belief are parallel to the limits of our performance. So change your limits! (We strongly recommend a recently new read from Iron War author Matt Fitzgerald — How Bad Do You Want It?)
HOKA ONE ONE Ambassador Jane Trumper reached a dizzying new total over over 200 marathons, running more than 55 in 2016 while still finding time to chase new dreams in Nepal, become a grandmother, and knock over her 7th Coast2Kosci at a literally staggering distance of 240km

2. The FKT. As declared by Appalachian Trail recordholder Karl Meltzer, 2016 was the year of the FKT, or Fastest Known Time. Whether it’s Sydney to Canberra, Adelaide to Melbourne, or your local Strava segments, 2017 is full of opportunities for Aussies to take on some audacious running challenges and lift the local game.

 

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Run Steep Get High’s awesome vid of Jim Walmsley’s Grand Canyon Rim to Rim to Rim record — 68km with 3700m of ascent in under 6 hours. Inspirationally insane.

3. Chasing Vert. You might have heard this and wondered what the hell it means. Vertical gain relative to distance run gives a sense of how steep your training really is. Don’t be cheeky/sly/lazy and use the word-spaghetti ‘total elevation change’. This is when someone adds the total ascent to the total descent of a route to make themselves sound like a total badass. Beat your mortal flesh into submission on descents, but it’s all about the ascent — build your repertoire of steep training so that you can average 10% or greater gain each week and you’ll soon be mountain-goating with the best of them. More importantly, you’ll kick your own flatlander 2016 ass!

Check out these races in Australia as great events to build for.

For vert like this, you need to race in Europe. Check out this all-time classic race report by Meghan M. Hicks, detailing her trauma at Tor Des Géants in northern Italy — 330km with 24,000m of climbing.

4. Multiskill. There are so many options other than distance to play with — think terrain and modality. Think yoga/pilates/new coach/no coach. If you’re a trailrunner, maybe look at building road strength, or trying one of the many obstacle races that now happen throughout the year. If you’re a road runner, consider trail, or the mixed stamina challenge of triathlon. And there’s always adventure racing to look at too, with kayaking and mountain biking added to trailrunning.

Personal collection — nothing gets you outside your comfort zone quite like 3 feet of mud somewhere solar wouldn’t work.

5. There would have to be 5, wouldn’t there? Just keep in touch with what you love about your sport. Leave the GPS behind, or hook up with some great friends in the mountains, or coast hop, explore new trails, enter new races, compete, or lean down, or just get out for 30 minutes every day for a month. We’re all mental, and we’re all physical. We’re at our best when we keep in touch with both our animal and cultural selves. The more you do to enjoy 2017, the better able you’ll be to enjoy 2017.

Or you can just completely ignore our gentler advice and go for an audacious goal in 2017 like Running From Stroke’s Bill Deering, who has so far taken on 12 ultras in 12 months.

We had a great year with all of you in 2016 at classic events like Husky, ATEC, City2Surf and Ironman, as well as events that were new for us like 6 Foot Track and the West Australian Ultra Series. We wish every Aussie athlete, whether aspiring or accomplished, the very best of health and happiness in this New Year of 2017, and we look forward to meeting (and competing) with you in the year ahead.

Best wishes from the whole team at HOKA ONE ONE Australia.

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